Friday, February 01, 2013

Mavs Hang On For 4-3 Win Against Michigan Tech

UNO hockey came out fast tonight against Michigan Tech and held on for a 4-3 victory to keep the Mavs in second place in the WCHA.  First period goals by Johnnie Searfoss and Ryan Walters gave the Mavs a 2-1 lead after the first period.  But UNO had difficulty keeping the momentum the rest of the way as the Huskies came out strong after the intermission. UNO's defense was good enough (or lucky enough at times) to keep Tech from scoring. Andrej Sustr fired home a slapshot late in the second period to put the Mavs up 3-1 after two periods.

Tech dominated the play much of the third period as well, though Dominic Zombo was able to cash in on a rebound to restore UNO's two goal lead with eight minutes left after Tech pulled to within one early in the period. But a dumb penalty by Michael Young for hitting after the whistle led to a power play goal by Tech's Tanner Kero, cutting UNO's lead back to 4-3 with four minutes left.  UNO's defense was good enough the rest of the way to hang on for the win.

It wasn't a pretty win by the Mavs, but it's a win.  UNO was outshot 29-28 on the night; that's a rarity.  Young had a particularly bad game with a frustrating sequence where he misplayed the puck three times on a power play, then was out of position to set up a short-handed chance by Tech.  So UNO escapes a bad performance with a win and two points; can't really complain about that too much.

The win moves #14 UNO to 16-9-2 on the season, and was goalie John Faulkner's 52nd career win. His next win will tie him with Dan Ellis (now with the Carolina Hurricanes) for the school record.  After tonight, UNO sits in a tie for 19th place in college hockey's PairWise standings, which are used to seed teams for the NCAA tournament.  With upcoming series against #9 North Dakota, Alaska-Anchorage, #22 Wisconsin, and Minnesota-Duluth, it's going to take a lot more wins to get UNO in position for the NCAA tournament.  The good news is that if they do that, they'll likely also claim the MacNaughton Cup for winning the WCHA's regular season championship.

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